In 1998, producer Luc Besson unveiled the first opus in the “Taxi” saga. Directed by Gérard Pirès, the film instantly became cult and gave birth to 4 sequels and an American remake. Do you know how many Peugeot 406s were used for the film?
Taxi: the beginning of a cult saga
Luc Besson had the idea for the film Taxi in a taxi, precisely. The filmmaker, stuck in traffic jams, began to imagine how his driver could have become a brilliant racing driver to get him out of traffic jams. Quickly, through his company, EuropaCorphe launched the production of the first part of the saga Taxi, that he entrusts to the director Gérard Pirès. The movie meets an instant popular hit in 1998and is even named Caesar 7 times. The taxi left with two statuettes: Best Sound and Best Editing.
The feature film quickly became a cult, in particular thanks to its endearing and unique cast. The film brings together a cast including Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Bernard Farcy and Edouard Montoute.. As for the story, you probably already know it, but we’ll give you a summary. Taxi recounts the unexpected alliance between a policeman, Émilien (Frédéric Diefenthal), and a taxi driver who manages to escape all radar, Daniel (Samy Naceri).
Six cars for the price of one
In addition to these iconic characters, the saga Taxi introduces another protagonist in its own right: the famous vehicle. This white car that has become emblematic is today the emblem of the franchise. Over time, Daniel’s Peugeot 406 and its kit of gadgets to make the Batmobile pale, has become a true icon of French cinema. During the filming of the film, six Peugeot 406s were used by production. Six models were filmed from all angles to bring Daniel’s car to life.
The first was a normal taxi, mainly used for wide shots. The second was used to show the transformation of the vehicle into a war machine; the third was only used to film the interior of the vehicle; the fourth was endowed with an additional steering wheel on the right so that experienced pilots drive the car instead of Samy Naceri.
Luc Besson has in fact hired famous racing drivers to perform the stunts of the film like Raymond Touroul, Renaud Malinconi, or Jean-Louis Schlesser. The fifth vehicle was a very fast racing car, while the last was used as a traveling car. Today, it is difficult to know where these famous examples of Daniel’s car are. We know, however, that the very first taxi is now on display at the Peugeot Adventure Museum in Sochaux.